Generally speaking there are two definitions of literary realism (More precise definitions or arguments are absolutely welcome):
1-It is the aim of some of the modern fiction to portray the fictional characters and their enviroments as closely as posible to the world of the readers in order to convince them of their plausibility.
2-It is a literary period (usually of the 19 C) specially devoted to paint "the world as it was". It was usually a very pessimistic trend. Some of its most famous representatives are Stendhal, Balzac and Flaubert (France), Eça de Queirós (Portugal) and Machado de Assis (Brazil).
But Dickens highly imaginative (and sometimes phantastic) fiction is also considered realistic.
What would characters like Miss Havisham (Great Espectation) and spontaneously combusting Krook (Bleak House) have in common with Madame Bovary and Father Goriot?
Please give your opinions.